Adding a RSS feed for file downloads by ThinqLinq

Adding a RSS feed for file downloads

Ok, so I've been a bit busy this weekend adding some nice stuff for this site. One thing that I wanted to add was another RSS feed, this time for the file upload section. If you want to subscribe to the File RSS feed, direct your aggregator to the following link:

Of course, since this is a learning site, I'll let you in on the code needed to accomplish the task. As you may guess, LINQ makes serving up XML from an object collection using a heterogeneous join to a database fairly easy. If you haven't seen how we display the files for this site, check out the podcast I did for Wally last year where we go over it in more detail.

To begin the task, we will set-up our initial query We will use two data sources for this task. The first data source is the object collection containing the FilInfo objects from the download directory for this site. (System.IO.DirectoryInfo(...).GetFiles). The second source is the FileClassic table returned using LINQ to SQL. LINQ allows us to easily join these two data sources and work with it as we would any other data source.

Dim fileDescriptions = dc.GetTable(Of FileClassic)()
Dim files = (From f In New System.IO.DirectoryInfo(Server.MapPath("~/Downloads")).GetFiles _
                  Join desc In fileDescriptions On f.Name Equals desc.FileName _
                  Order By f.LastWriteTime Descending _
                  Select URL = "Downloads/" & f.Name, _
                  Name = System.IO.Path.GetFileNameWithoutExtension(f.Name), _
                  f.LastWriteTime, f.Length, _
                  Description = Server.HtmlDecode(desc.Description), desc.Id).ToArray

With our query prepared, we can now use LINQ to XML with VB Literals to generate the RSS feed and output it to the response stream as follows:

Response.Write(<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<rss version="2.0" xmlns:dc="" xmlns:slash="" xmlns:wfw="">
    <title>ThinqLinq samples and presentations</title>
    <description>Here are some of my presentation files available for you to use as you wish.  Just let me know if you like what you see and what you want to see more of.</description>
<%= From f In files _
            Select <item>
<title><%= f.Name %></title>
<link><%= "" & f.URL %></link>
<pubDate><%= f.LastWriteTime.ToString("ddd, dd MMM yyyy hh:mm:ss GMT") %></pubDate>
<guid isPermaLink="false"><%= "42f563c8-34ea-4d01-bfe1-2047c2222a74:" & f.Id %></guid>
<description><%= f.Description %></description>
<enclosure url=<%= "" & f.URL %>
length=<%= f.Length %>
</item> %>

The main difference between this example and the ones we are using for blog posts is the addition of the <enclosure> node. With enclosure, we specify the url to the file download, the file length, and the file type. In this site, I plan to always use ZIP files so I just hard code that. The other values come from our starting query. If you subscribe to this new feed, you should see each item including an enclosure icon so that you can download it.

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Categories: VB Dev Center - LINQ - VB - Linq to XML -
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